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How to Accept Grace When We Feel We Don’t Deserve It

We can choose to run away from God and His grace, or we can come to God with everything that makes us guilty and give it to Him. Because without the opportunity we have to receive grace, we would be overrun with guilt.

Contributing Writer
Published Dec 29, 2021
How to Accept Grace When We Feel We Don’t Deserve It

For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast (Ephesians 2:8-9).

The enemy lies to us every chance he gets so that we continue in this cycle of what is truth and what are lies. Even when we sin and make mistakes, we still have grace. This does not mean that we have an excuse to sin because we know we will be forgiven.

This means that grace is a gift that is given by God. In James chapter 1, the Bible says that every good and perfect gift comes from above. God gave us the perfect gift when He sent His Son to die for us so that we can be reconciled with our Creator.

Thus, we are now under grace because we have Jesus Christ in our lives. Grace is above all what we feel we do or do not deserve. Although, we should remember that even though we have this gift, let us not abuse it, but be grateful for it.

Guilt Is Sin

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9).

Our guilt can lead us to repentance if we let it, or we can sit and stew in our guilt and let that become us. In Ephesians 1:5-6, the Bible says, “He predestined us to be adopted through Jesus Christ for Himself, according to His favor and will, to the praise of His glorious grace that He favored us with in the Beloved.”

The Bible also says in that same chapter that “we have redemption in Him through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace that He lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding” (Ephesians 1:7-8).

Guilt is just another word for sin. Thus, when we let that sin go to our hearts, it becomes true to us that we don't deserve God's grace.

Our feelings lie to us too. When that sin or guilt reaches your heart, it wants to stay there and take root. The weeds take root where you are attempting to plant something beneficial. That guilt will attempt to ruin your good fruits that you previously planted.

That is why it is more important to be rooted in God's Word because at any moment the enemy will try to intervene. James 4:7 says, “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”

Even more so we are vulnerable in our own ungodly desires. James 1:14 says, “But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire.” So, when guilt is producing more guilt, we are even more tempted to give into ungodly desires.

But when we understand grace and how we should view it, then we can be saved from our cycle of guilt. Therefore, how should we view grace? We should view it as a gift and not of our own doing (Ephesians 2:8-9).

If you view God negatively then you'll view grace as undeserving, which is not the case because grace was a free gift given because God loves us and wants us back to Him.

The Bible says in Hebrews 4:16, “Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”

In turn, we can choose to run away from God and His grace, or we can come to God with everything that makes us guilty and give it to Him. Because without the opportunity we have to receive grace, we would be overrun with guilt. The sorrow that follows this guilt only leads to spiritual destruction.

Godly and Worldly Grief

So, if guilt is sin, then what is grief, and how do we distinguish between how the world perceives it versus the Bible? Well, worldly grief gives us a negative connotation that leads us to see grief with many meanings. But godly grief gives us only one meaning and that is to lead us to repentance.

We are to repent, to turn away from the guilt or sin that previously has trapped us. In 2 Corinthians 7:10, it says, “For the kind of sorrow God wants us to experience leads us away from sin and results in salvation. There’s no regret for that kind of sorrow. But worldly sorrow, which lacks repentance, results in spiritual death.”

The worldly sorrow, which is grief, can chain us or bondage us in death. Have you ever noticed when you strive to unchain yourself in your own worldly understanding that it results back to where you began?

So, what is worldly grief, and how does grace play a role in it?

The cycle of grief in psychological terms is pain that has coincided with loss. This pain can be short-term or long-term in its effectiveness. Grief in this world can be cunning because it can change who you are as a person.

Worldly grief can affect your emotions, your choices and decisions, and your relationships. It is no wonder that godly grief produces only repentance to be in right standing with God.

The Bible says there is no regret in the grief that you had because its results can produce godly things like fear of the Lord. Godly grief can lead you into salvation whereas worldly grief only produces spiritual death.

Grace is a gift we did not have to be given, but God gave us this good and perfect gift because He loves us and wants us to be reconciled back to Him (Romans 5:10). So, remember to humble yourselves before in all circumstances.

Especially ones that have you in your negative mindset, and trust God for what He has given you. Lastly, don't be swayed by this world and its negative connotations. Let God’s Word fill you and rely on Him and not this world.

Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God (2 Corinthians 5:20-21).

A Closing Prayer

Father God, we love you and thank you for this reconciliation that you have given us through Christ Jesus. Father, I pray that even though our feelings and emotions tell us the opposite of what you say in your Word, that we trust you regardless.

Father, I pray for all of us who are struggling in sin and guilt and that we give these things to you. I thank you Lord and give all praise, glory, and honor to you, God. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

For further reading:

Why Are We Given Grace Upon Grace from the Lord?

What Is the Difference Between Grace and Mercy?

What Is the Type of Grace That Can Run Out?

Why Is it So Hard to Forgive Ourselves?

Does God Hate Me When I Sin?

Photo Credit: ©iStock/Getty Images Plus/Rawpixel


Rebecca Mashburn (Gordon) has a wonderful husband named Joseph. She has a blog, Trust. Lean, Seek and is working on becoming what God is calling her to. She has a bachelor's in psychology and hopes to one day pursue a degree in biblical counseling. Rebecca loves to be in nature, especially in springtime, and she loves to travel. She has a loving family and hopes one day to have children of her own.

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